Self-Care Practices I Use When Engaging with Master Manipulators

This episode sort of piggybacks off of the previous episode (How I Set Boundaries with Master Manipulators) and offers some of the self-care practices I use when engaging in highly stressful, often toxic “conversations” with people who manipulate and/or gaslight. If you’d like to read the blog post I wrote on this topic after filming this podcast, please check out Simple Self-Care Practices That Will Help You Get Calm & Grounded. Thanks!

About this episode

Engaging with master manipulators – especially those who gaslight – can leave you feeling diminished as a human and unworthy of respect or even love. It can cause you extreme anxiety, leave you questioning your sanity, and even trigger a post-traumatic stress response. This episode shares some of the tools I’ve used that are simple to embrace and have helped me to regain my center in these incredibly stressful circumstances. I hope that they help you as much as they’ve helped me!

Also, why not download My Roadmap For Becoming A Boundary-Setting Goddess (it may vary a bit from the five steps in this podcast due to revisions)? It’s a condensed, beautiful guide to help you with the process.

Thank you for tuning in! Please subscribe to The Illuminated Goddess podcast if you enjoyed this show.

Here’s the transcript

Kristi Amdahl 0:02
Welcome to the illuminated goddess podcast. My name is Kristi and I’ll be your host. My mission is threefold, to inspire you to live from a place of compassion and love, to empower you to reconnect with your innate wisdom and live life on your own terms. And to help you become more resilient in the face of hardship and uncertainty. It’s time to start living life on your own terms instead of living someone else’s plan for you. In short, it’s time to start taking up space to stop letting others needs Trump your own, and to start living in alignment with who you truly are.

Hi, I’m Kristi Amdahl. And I’m the host of the illuminated goddess podcast. This is episode number two. And it’s sort of piggybacks off of Episode Number one, and that if you haven’t seen it, it was my framework for setting boundaries with Master manipulators. So if you haven’t seen that, and you have a master manipulator in your life, and you could use some help in the boundaries area, please watch that podcast. It’s only like 20 minutes long.

And so this piggybacks off of that, because I want to dive into sort of like, how I handle the stress response that happens that follows setting a boundary with a master manipulator or maybe just having any sort of conversation with a master manipulator. You know, I don’t know about you. But when I am engaged in any way, shape, or form with a master manipulator, who might be gaslighting me, in other words, challenging my version of reality, or whatever, like my cortisol or adrenaline, whatever it is, it’s surges, like I am like, Oh, you know, I’m very, very stressed. A psychologist once told me that it’s like I’m having a, she went, she was witnessing like a post traumatic stress response in me, in relation to this master manipulator. So the stuff is very real, and we got to like, kind of regulate it and deal with it.

And so, so my first episode was, yes, set these boundaries, here’s your framework, but then what, like, you need to take care of yourself too. And so when for someone who’s been like gaslighted, and or, you know, subjected to gaslighting or manipulation by a master manipulator, it’s, I mean, I can’t think of a time when it would be like an isolated incident, usually, it’s like, you know, it builds on top of each other, it’s like a constant thing, it’s just you’re always kind of being put in your place, so to speak. It’s sort of that kind of a feeling, you’re reminded that you’re less than that your memory sucks that that you’re wrong, that they’re smarter than you that they’re entitled. And you’re not, you’re not worthy, they’re worthy, you know, it’s like you’re always like, kind of reminded that you’re less than in some way, shape or form. And that can be incredibly that’s like toxic to the spirit. It’s toxic as fuck to the spirit, right?

And so getting out of that and rediscovering self worth, and self love is you know, it’s every Everyone has their own path to follow in there. And then that area, and I’ve taken my own, which is involved lots of meditation, and forgiveness practices and compassion, meditations, everyone, maybe we’ll do that in a future episode. But like, getting there is a very individual experience. But today, I do want to dive into some specific practices that I hope can help you the way they’ve helped me when I’m in the moment and I’m like all over the place and I’m highly stressed triggered to no end. And I’m hoping that these can help you like they’ve helped me.

So the first thing the first self care practice that I generally advocate for the most is getting out in nature. Now I am like a tree hugging hippie type. I have the lagoons beautiful lagoons where we have like night Heron and great blue herons, and turtles and everything like right, practically right outside my door. It’s like a three minute walk from my place to get to the first lagoon. And I love walking barefoot in the grass around them touching the trees, like maybe even leaning up against a tree maybe kind of pressing my cheek against it or hugging it. Okay, so that is like I get tree hugging hippie, you might not relate to that. But I also invite you to just you know, try to flip kicking off your sandals and walking barefoot in the grass for a little bit and just being present just feeling not trying to get from point A to point B But just being in nature outside and what that does is it helps ground you. So when you are like triggered by a master manipulators interaction or an interaction with the restroom emulator, your anxiety is like everywhere, your heads everywhere, you’re like, this doesn’t feel right, I’m triggered. I’m like, Oh, it’s like the feeling you’re like crawling under your skin feeling. And being in nature, in that capacity, it’s very grounding, it kind of brings you back centers you. And so that’s why I recommend it. That’s why there’s a lot of people who like do weird things like hug the trees and stuff, because it is very, it does. There is an energetic exchange going on, and it is very grounding. So that’s one good get out in nature barefoot, if possible.

Another self care practice is writing out journaling, whatever writing about how you’re feeling everything, every icky thing that comes up, what happened, blah, blah, blah, right? Until you can’t write anymore, right? Then burn it. And do it responsibly, of course, but burn it in then, if you can do follow that with some sort of like a cleansing ritual, maybe that is a shower, really like wash your hair, and you just kind of like symbolically and physically, like, rinse all the egg off your body and watch it go down into the drain. Maybe if that’s not possible, maybe you burn some incense or you smudge a sage, if that’s something that you’re already doing already engaging in something that sort of symbolically cleanses you, your body from this icky energy that you just burnt away. So this is kind of like a releasing practice, right?

Okay, and then the next self care practice that I use this one quite a bit too, is meditating with a mantra. And okay, if you’re not a meditator, don’t freak out. When I say this, this is I’m not talking about, you know, in this in this particular example, you can use this anywhere, you don’t have to have perfect form you can be laying down, you can be sitting in a chair, whatever. It’s great if your backs straight, but if it’s not your kind of slumped, whatever it’s, I think it’s still going to help and meditating with a mantra. So what that means is that you basically just repeat over and over and over and over and over again, a phrase or word, whatever. And you do this, because, you know, like, so why do people that meditate? They say they can’t meditate? It’s because their brains are, like, just bombarded with thoughts. And people think you have to quiet your mind in order to meditate. And I mean, I don’t know, I can’t quiet my mind, can you. But um, so but meditate with a mantra, it gives you something to focus on. So you’re too busy focusing on the word, repetitive word over and over and over again, and you’re not focused on the thoughts. There’s like no room for that thoughts to come in. Because the mantras going on in batches can be very, very powerful. So the mantra that I want to teach you today is satnaam. And that translates into I am truth or truth is my essence. I love this mantra because especially in a gaslighting type of a situation, it’s like, it just kind of reminds me that I am truth, it’s like they’re they’re gaslighting, and trying to convince me that my reality is wrong, whatever. It’s like, No, no, no, I am truth. Let’s come back to truth what I am to this my essence.

And so the way you would do this practice is meditation is, you know, I like to use my left hand, so you take your left hand, right. And then with each sound of the mantra, there’s four sounds, four syllables with each syllable, you touch a finger to your thumb, as you repeat the sound. And, and then you just repeat, then you just kind of repeat the cycle over and over. So it goes, sa, ta, Na, Ma, sa, ta, Na, Ma, sa, ta, Na, Ma, sa, ta, Na, ma. And when I do this, I’m usually I’m a meditation cushion, but I’ll have my hand just like resting on my thigh, or even kind of held up near my my heart area. And then you just do it. You can repeat the mantra out loud if you have privacy, and then slowly reduce the volume until you’re repeating it silently. And then when you feel called to stop maybe a couple minutes later than you stop and just sit and it’s incredibly calming. It’s very calming. My brain literally shuts off when I stop saying the mantra and I’m just sitting there. It’s like there’s stillness. There’s legit stillness there. For me, and so I invite you to try that too. If you’re in a place where you just you’re certainly not going to chant a mantra out loud, just still just you can do the fingers without, you know, vocalizing the mantra and but repeat the mantra in your head. You know, if you have to get up, like if you’re in a situation environment where you don’t have any privacy, go to the bathroom and do it participant minutes. I mean, I’m not kidding, it’s on the toilet and do it. It’s just, it’s, it’s really great at turning off your mind, the craziness that wants to invade it, it’s like there’s no room for it anymore.

Okay, so another practice that I have is pranayama. It’s type of pranayama, which is breath work in Sanskrit. It’s a yogic thing. But a three part breath where you like, basically, you’re inhaling as deeply as you can inhale, starting with your belly, and then visualizing drying the breath into the lungs, and then into the throat until you cannot possibly breathe in anymore. And then very slowly, exhaling fully from the belly, and then the chest, and then the throat. And as you do this, you kind of squeeze your belly button up. And in squeezing that last little, you know, drop of air out of your lungs. This is a very, very calming breath. You can do it with anywhere, you can do belly breath anywhere, but we’re sorry, three part breath anywhere. But I like to sometimes it helps if you place your one hand on your belly, and then your other hand on your chest. So you can kind of feel your body sort of like filling up with air. And so you just do as many rounds as you need to do, you should be slow. It’s not like you’re not trying to race to fill up with air and race to expel exhale all the air. But it goes again, hand on your belly hand on your chest, if you want, you can just leave your hands off if you’d like. And then you inhale, fill the belly. Inhale, keep inhaling, fill up the chest and inhale, so you can’t inhale anymore all the way up to the throat. Then exhale slowly from the belly, and then let the air out of the chest, the lungs, and then the throat, pull up that belly button until you’ve squeezed out every last drop. And then repeat.

There’s two more practices that I like. One is riding the wave. And there’s many iterations of this. I know, this is a technique that’s practice all over the place mental health professionals, even Buddhist nuns advocate for some version variation of it. And so what I like to the way I approach it, is if I am, if like, if I’m like really stress, if I had a very stressful encounter with a master manipulator, or any event in life, any event, triggering an event, I just observe, observe how I’m feeling without trying to change it. And without diving down rabbit holes up thinking. So it’s not about contemplating how terrible I feel, or how angry I am, or whatever how icky I feel. It’s about observing, hey, I’m not feeling good right now. You know, this is how I’m feeling, and just not trying to change it. Just observing it, letting it be, and it will pass my experience is that it does pass. As long as I’m not fighting it, if I’m fighting this crappy feeling that I want to get away from, then I’m not writing the wave anymore. riding the wave, if you can visualize, if you can envision like a wave, it starts out at sea, it starts out maybe small, whatever. But as it gets closer and closer to shore, it gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger, bigger, and then it crests and as big as massive boom. And then it just the water kind of sort of becomes back comes back into being with like, the ocean or the lake or whatever. And then it’s dissipated. And I find red riding the wave to be incredibly beneficial practice. I often forget about this practice, unless I have a reason to think about it. But whenever I think about it, I’m really grateful that I did because it’s very, very helpful in all sorts of stressful situations.

And then the last, the last self care practice I would like to share for helping to deal with these super stressful situations and to kind of come back into the body to connect kind of with your truth with yourself. And to help get grounded is a yoga pose, that if you’ve ever done yoga, you’ve probably done this pose. And that’s Child’s Pose. I’ll demonstrate In a minute, but my mic is going to be funny once I do it. So I want to talk about it for a second first. But Child’s Pose, you basically you just sitting on your heels, and then you’re like, just allowing your head to rest on the floor or maybe a block, you can do it with your knees together, or knees apart, whatever you’d like. I like to do my with my knees apart, usually to create more space. Because I’ve kind of big boobs and they get in the way, when I’m doing Child’s Pose, moving my knees wide, you know, can account for that. And Child’s Pose, it’s very, for me, when I’m doing it, it’s very, very calming, it helps me to connect with my truth to turn inward. In any really, there’s a lot of yoga poses that can help with that. If you’re doing like a forward fold, or standing and just kind of dangling down where letting your head hang Whoa, and everything that can also be beneficial. But Child’s Pose is just sort of the epitome of, you know, a turning inward pose. And so I’ll demonstrate in a second in case you’re not sure what I’m talking about. And when you’re doing Child’s Pose in this way for all you, Yogi’s out there, it doesn’t matter where your arms are, you can have your arms by your side, you could have them stretched out in front of you, you can fold your venture elbows rester, you know, forehead on like a pillow, that’s or, you know, whatever, whatever works for you. So, here, I’m going to demonstrate real quick.

So my, my audio probably sucks now, because I’m really far away from my mic. But you’ll see I’m just gonna sit back on my heels like this. And I like to spread my knees wide. To make room for this is great for anyone who’s like a little bit larger in the torso, or has a belly or big boobs, doing Child’s Pose with your knees spread wide can help accommodate for that extra space. So, so I’m sitting on my heels, and my knees are spread wide. And then I just kind of relax or melt my belly into my thighs, and fall forwards. And if you are doing this pose and you find that your butt doesn’t meet your your calves, you can if you’re comfortable, that’s fine, just let it be. But if it’s uncomfortable for you could put something like a blanket. Or even like, gosh, like if you have a yoga mat or something, that’s great. But if you have anything like a blanket or a towel or a hoodie or something that you can kind of put between roll up and put between your, your hamstrings and your, your calves that might make this pose more comfortable. Your arms, I’ll show you the different arm positions, but you can do anything that feels good for you. So here’s arm straight ahead. Here’s elbows bent, creating a pillow. Here’s sort of an in between pose. I like this one. For some reason. This is like my favorite. And then you can have your arms back by your sides. And another one is you can even put your hands back behind your neck. So that’s, you know, Child’s Pose, right? If you’ve never done yoga, or you want some more ideas, if you do do yoga, it should be comfortable. If it’s not comfortable, then don’t do it.

So just to recap, the self care practices that I’ve covered with you are getting out in nature, preferably barefoot, writing and burning, and then having some sort of cleansing ritual like a shower. That’s another good self care practice. meditating with a mantra and I taught you satnaam this mantra that helps to kind of turn off your mind to clear up that’s because you’re focusing intently on just the mantra the three part Breath, the pranayama. So that’s breathing in filling up your belly, and then continuing to breathe in and filling up your chest and then moving it up until you can’t breathe in anymore all the way up to your throat, sick of visualization. And then exhaling slowly and deliberately from your belly, and then your chest and then your throat. And then another technique I gave you was riding the wave, just letting it pass, observe it without trying to change it without trying to control it without going down rabbit holes, just observing how you’re feeling and letting it be that way. And then the final thing was, Child’s Pose, was a great yoga pose to help with this sort of a thing. If you want to do like a yoga class, a yen class or a restorative class would be awesome, I think, unless you really need to burn off like energy. And if that is the case, then you want something more active, like maybe a, you know, vinyasa class or something.

So I hope that this helps. I hope that this resonated with you in some way. And I would love it if you would subscribe to my channel. Comment, go to my website, if you want to see the transcript of this. So you can kind of go back through the tips that I’ve given you the techniques if you don’t want to listen to this video again. And yeah, so I look forward to being with you next time. Thank you. Thank you so much for staying tuned in with me throughout this show. If you liked what you heard, please consider subscribing and also visiting my website Kristi Amdahl. Calm the light me honors and sees the light.

Thank you again.

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